Share this article

print logo

State audit says Gowanda should follow its purchasing procedures

Gowanda officials did not always obtain quotes or bids for purchases, sometimes incurring higher costs than necessary, a state audit has found.

The audit, completed by the Office of State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, recommends the village follow its procurement policy in the future.

Mayor Heather McKeever said she was very pleased with the outcome of the audit.

“We’re implementing the recommendations of the audit and found it to be very helpful,” she said.

The audit examined the village’s purchasing practices from June 1, 2011, through April 26 to see if village policies were followed.

The village rules require it to advertise for bids for contracts that are more than $10,000 or public works contracts more than $20,000.

Also, two written quotes are required for items between $3,000 and $9,999, and formal written proposals are required from at least two vendors for public works contracts costing between $10,000 and $19,999.

The state examined 16 purchases totalling $408,000, which required bids or were from state or county contracts.

Three purchases required competitive bidding, and the village did not solicit bids in two cases, for sludge removal and a new police car, and failed to formally award the third bid for chemicals for the sewer plant, the audit stated.

There were six purchases that could have been made from a state bid, but there was no evidence on four of the purchases that the village verified the county or state price.

“Because village officials did not verify the pricing for the police car radios and chargers, they were charged $2,439 more than the state contract price,” the audit said.

Also, five of seven purchases requiring quotes did not get them.

In addition to recommending village officials comply with the procurement policy, the state also recommended the village attach quotes to the village claims and make sure it is receiving the appropriate state and county pricing.

In its response, the mayor said the village agrees with many of the points but also said some items were not bid because they were emergency purchases. The mayor promised to file a corrective action plan soon.